There’s only one better way to kick off the baseball season than Red Sox and Yankees on opening night – and that would be having a double header combining Sox and Yanks, along with the Cubs and Cardinals.
Let’s make that happen, Bud!
Next time, OK?
Anyway, I digress into a peanut and Cracker Jack food coma – and wash it down with a cold beer… watching as the boys of summer are back for yet another year on the diamond.
To celebrate the 2010 MLB season, The Wife Hates Sports is going to put out some season predictions in another segment of “Pick Your Knows”.
But enough chit-chat, let’s get back to the disgusting habit… time to “pick your knows”…
Pick Your Knows: 2010 MLB Season Predictions
American League Division Winners:
Boston Red Sox
Chicago White Sox
AL Wild Card Winner
New York Yankees
KP’s Take: Why not the following teams?
Twins – Losing Joe Nathan hurts the bullpen and shutting the door on close games
Rays – Don’t get me wrong, they’re good – but the Yanks and Sox are better.
Angels – An aging team with not as much starting rotation depth as the Mariners
National League Division Winners:
St. Louis Cardinals
NL Wild Card Winner
KP’s Take: Why not the following teams?
Dodgers – Cash strapped and unable to fill necessary holes due to ownership’s divorce issues.
Mets – Injury issues – what else?
Giants – I love their pitching, but still don’t they have enough pop in the lineup to get it done.
Teams That Will Surprise You
National League: Arizona Diamondbacks
In the AL, I think the Orioles will be much improved – but not a playoff team. They have a great young OF featuring Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold, combined with a ton of young arms – headlined by Brian Matusz, who I see as this year’s AL rookie of the year.
Over in the NL, while many have the Rockies, Dodgers or even Giants taking the AL West – I see the D’Backs getting back on the map and stealing the division crown. Why? Well, again – youth on offense, headlined by Stephen Drew and Justin Upton. Plus, they have a deadly starting trio of Dan Haren, Brandon Webb (returning from injury) and newly acquired Edwin Jackson.
Most Valuable Player
National League: Albert Pujols – St. Louis Cardinals
Until Pujols retires, I’ll probably take him as the NL MVP – because the guy just keeps putting up gaudy numbers. That, plus it doesn’t hurt to have Matt Holliday as protection in the ineup.
In the AL, Youkilis, has been a clutch player for Boston ever since first setting foot on the field – and not just at the plate during key moments, but also playing solid defense. He’ll be a steady force in the Red Sox lineup while Ortiz’s career continues to show a steady decline due to age and general wear and tear.
Rookie of the Year
National League: Jason Heyward – Atlanta Braves
Matusz pitched some for the O’s late last season, but didn’t log the necessary innings to be considered a sophomore in 2010. He has the experience and the stuff.
Meanwhile, Heyward is one of the most hyped up bats heading into the season. The power hitting 20-year old will start on opening day, and should post good enough numbers to outlast Washington’s Stephen Strasburg, who will likely be called up later in the season.
Comeback Player of the Year
National League: Chris Young – Arizona Diamondbacks
KP’s Take: For more on comeback seasons, I wrote a separate post a few days ago that can be found here.
2010 MLB Playoff Predictions
Red Sox OVER White Sox
Yankees OVER Mariners
Phillies OVER D’Backs
Cardinals OVER Braves
KP’s Take: While the Mariners and D’Backs make it due to deep starting rotations, the Yankees and Phillies have the full package, combining pitching and hitting across the board.
Red Sox OVER Yankees
Phillies OVER Cardinals
KP’s Take: Everyone knows how much fun a Red Sox-Yankees battle is in the ALCS, but having Cardinals with Carpenter and Wainwright against the Phillies with Halladay and Hamels – now that would be good theater.
2010 World Series Prediction
Red Sox OVER Phillies in 6
I have the Phillies representing the National League for the third consecutive year – almost Bills-like in nature – even though they did win one title. The Phils just have so much depth and talent, combining defense, offense, power and great pitching – headlined by new acquisition Roy Halladay. Now if they had kept Cliff Lee, too – I’d have them taking another title home to cheesesteak country.
As for the Red Sox, they gave the Yankees a good run last year – and this year, made some quality additions to the roster, bringing in another ace in John Lackey (to go along with Beckett and Lester). On top of that, Boston added some great defensive talents in Mike Cameron and Adrian Beltre. Each of these players will also see a spike in offense, as they not only play in a stacked lineup, but also bat in the hitter-friendly Fenway Park.
For these reasons and more, I have the Boston Red Sox as your 2010 World Champions.